U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced her resignation Thursday morning, becoming the first Cabinet member of the Trump administration to quit, CNBC reports.
Chao’s resignation, effective Jan. 11, cited Wednesday’s breach of the Capitol, CNBC reports.
“Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event,” Chao said via Twitter. “It has deeply troubled me in a way that I cannot set aside.”
Many commenters, however, saw Chao’s resignation as an attempt to avoid taking a stance on growing calls to impeach President Donald Trump.
“The Cabinet must not resign until they secure the nation by voting for the 25th Amend,” another Twitter user commented.
According to ABC, discussions to impeach Trump via the 25th Amendment have been held among Cabinet members and Congressmembers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
The 25th Amendment lays out procedures to replace the president in the event of “death, removal, resignation or incapacitation.”
“I call for the vice president and members of the cabinet to ensure that the next few weeks are safe for the American people, and that we have a sane captain of the ship,” Kinzinger said, ABC reports.
Chao will be replaced by former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Transportation Secretary.
According to CNN, Chao has served in both Bush administrations and is a “veteran of Republican administrations.”
Chao was the first Asian American woman and first Taiwanese American in U.S. history to take on a presidential cabinet position.
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